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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Low-Income Adolescents Face More Barriers to Healthy Weight


In this policy brief, the authors examine why low-income teenagers are almost three times more likely to be obese than teens from more affluent households. Specifically, persistent barriers to health were found, including high numbers of neighborhood fast food restaurants, high sugary soda consumption and television viewing and low numbers of parks and other opportunities for physical activity. Among their recommendations, the authors urged city planners to consider zoning ordinances to regulate the number of fast–food restaurants while providing incentives to attract grocery and other stores that stock fresh fruits and vegetables. The authors also called for greater opportunities for physical activity and education, as well as campaigns to promote family dinners and discourage excessive television viewing.

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